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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7720
   Posted 10/18/2007 8:03 PM (GMT -6)   

As I've mentioned recently, my *very good* rheumy of several years has just closed his practice due to his own health situation.

I've been very tentative in my efforts to find a new rheumy to cover me -- I have finally decided on someone to try, but haven't made the phone call yet.

Meanwhile, I've heard from several patients of my ill doctor -- nobody seems very pleased with what they've found so far. One was even in a 2ond round of chemotherapy and the new doctor completely changed ALL her medications around.

One of us suggested that maybe we should make our initial appointments for a "consultation" or "second opinion" rather than as a 'new patient' visit. I kind of like that as a way to check out a potential doctor, but I wonder if the doctor might get a bad 1st impression of me as a patient if I did that -- also feels vaguely unethical to me.

What do you folks think? I appreciate any feedback you might have.

Lynnwood, Co-Moderator: Lupus Forum
SLE(’00), Sjogren's Syndrome, SAD, Depression, Herpes Simplex 1
Piroxicam, Plaquenil, Cellcept, Prednisone, Trazodone, Fosamax, Wellbrutrin SR, Valtrex
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1950
   Posted 10/18/2007 8:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Usually I do second opinions if I don't like what the first doc said, so it does seem backward, but there's no point in having the new rheumies think off the bat that you are totally committed to them. I think that probably from an insurance basis though, you need to figure out the best way and that may be through second opinons, or at least seeing the new rheumies for different diagnosis codes, like osteoarthritis vs lupus vs sjogrens, whatever. That way it may get covered. I don't think docs care that much one way or the other what we do, from my experience working in a doctors office they are too busy to really get all caught up in that kind of petty thinking, though I'm sure some might. Every doc I know always thinks you need to shop around because they know more than anyone that there are bad docs out there. You expectations might be higher than normal due to your close relationship with your old rheumie, as may be those of your friends in the same boat, so maybe take some of what they say with a grain of salt. I think a good doc, though, should know you need to be sure and shop around, besides, if the doc is good, you probably won't go on to try another one, so how will he be offended? And the ones that aren't good you don't want to go to anyway.
Love, Marji
--Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.--Voltaire (1694-1778)
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Klonopin, Soma, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol,steroid injections, Protopic & Triamcinolone Acetonide ointments

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 10/18/2007 9:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lynnwood,

So sorry you are having to scrape around for a new rheumy. I am awaiting my first appt with an new one too.

Your honesty is welcomed. I am so timid about trying another new doc. I am hesitant too . . . but never thought of anything but a first appointment. I'm determined that if I don't like him after a couple visits, I'll try another. I had to great a rheumy in the first one to settle for less than a doctor who will listen to me and take my symptoms seriously. I think being honest with him is the way to go. Let him set up your file as though he is keeping you. Start your relationship with honesty. I would expect the same of him . . . no games. Having said that, I don't really have a bad feeling if you did what you suggested either . . . a good doctor shouldn't care.

Sorry you have to be doing this.


In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

Co-Moderator - Lupus Forum

UCTD, Hashimotos, Inflammatory Bowel, Inflammatory Arthritis

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Jenny S.
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 10/19/2007 7:59 AM (GMT -6)   

I would take the opinions about your potential new Rheumy with a grain of salt. I have a great Rheymy, but I know I've bad mouthed her to others when I'm not feeling so well ... like I'm blaming her & her inability to 'cure' my disease. :) Seems silly, but sometimes people don't really realize what they are saying (especially when a Lupus patient is feeling bad).

Hope this helps,
Raynaud's (2000)
Lupus (2001)
Pletal 100 mg
Norvasc 5-10 mg (as needed)
Prednisone 5-10 mg (as needed)
Plaquenil 400 mg
Adult Aspril 325 mg
Acid Controller (Famotidine) 10 mg
Allergy Relief (Loratadine) 10 mg
DHEA 100 mg
Prozac 20 mg (for anxiety)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2003
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 10/27/2007 10:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Lynnwood, I am sorry to here about your rheumy. I know it can be hard in locating a new doctor. Maybe, your old rheumy can refer you to a new one.

I guess another way to look at I am techian and at times I have to go behind techs that has been sent out to repair phones, computers and tv issues. A new pair of eyes may pick up something that was missed by the frist.

Best to you and your hunt.
Enjoy what you can today and leave the rest for another day.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 10/28/2007 12:30 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Jenny, take those comments about the rheumy with a grain of salt. Three years ago I made an appointment with Dr. "R". After hearing from a few people that they didn't like him and why, I canceled my appointment with him and went to Dr. "S". Dr. "S" ended up telling me that my ANA was elevated because I was elderly (I was 48 at the time). I am now going to Dr. "R" and I love him ... he's very concerned about "ME" and it turned out he's the one who finally gave me a diagnosis of Lupus. I should have gone to see him in the first place and never listened to what others had to say about him.

Good luck with your search to find a new doctor.
SLE 9/07, FMS '90's, Spinal Stenosis, Osteoarthritis, Sinus Tach, PVC's, Kidney Stones, RLS, Parotid Neurofibroma 8/04, Cervical Cancer 9/06
Clinoril, Toprol XL, Prozac, Zyrtec-D, Zocor, Vitamins B6 & B12, Folic Acid, Loratab ,Percoset, Toradol
There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2003
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 10/28/2007 5:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Gidget, you are right about what others say about a doctors....some people are never happy with anyone. My mother-in-law will go from doctor to doctor. Till one will tell her what she wants to hear. Then she will tell you what a QUACK he is. Go with you heart

Hopping for the Best fo all today....
Enjoy what you can today and leave the rest for another day.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 10/28/2007 9:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Boy how true that is..take it with a grain of salt..the Rhumey I go to I've heard bad things about, no one liked her but for some reason we go together like peas and carrots(I just saw Forrest Gump,sorry) She is from Poland and her English isn't the clearest but I can understand her when she speaks. My husband, sitting right next to me can't understand a word...go figure. She just the nicest person I've met and I think she has done a good job so far.

As far as trying the doctor out to see, why not? Every book or article I've read written from doctors say to do this. Ask questions, interview them so to speak. A good doctor wouldn't mind. This is your health and it's the only one we got..


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 5403
   Posted 10/28/2007 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Lynnwood, I think this must be especially hard for you because it sounds like your olkd rheumy was really one in a million and the kind of doc we would all love to have. You may not find anyone quite like him, but hopefully you'll find someone similar. Hopefully it won't be a bunch of trial and error. I think it's okay to listen to what others say about their docs, but to also realize that one person might have a great experience with a doc and another person might not like him at all.

I kind of like the idea of a consultation, but I guess I really don't know exactly what a consultation is. I would think this would give you the opportunity to meet the doc and see how you like him or her. The thing I worry about with a second opinion is that the doc you are seeing might think the second opinion means that you aren't sure about your original doc's diagnosis or treatment.

I know how hard it has been for me to just search for a new pcp after I had such an amazing one, so searching for a new specialist has to be even tougher.

Just keep looking until you find the right match for you.
Diagnosis:  UCTD (lupus) 2006; Raynauds 2006; Sjogren's 2006; lupus symptoms began 2003; CFS 1991; Mono 1985
Meds:  Plaquenil 400mg; Prednisone 5-10mg; Tramadol 100mg 3-4x daily; Doxepin 25-50mg; Prevacid; Steriod Cream and Mouth Rinse for tongue and mouth ulcers; Hydrocodone 5/500 prn for severe pain; Artificial tears



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